6 Ways to Make Your Dorm Feel Like Home

Moving in, though stressful, can be such an exciting opportunity to express yourself. Some roommates coordinate their styles to form a cohesive design, while others go their separate ways and maintain their individual spaces. Whatever you choose, make sure to take advantage of the limited area you have, while also combining practicality with comfort. Of course, you’ll want a mini-fridge and a functional place to do your school work, but you’ll also want to reserve room for fun things like DIY dream catchers, picture displays, and a myriad of pillows. Here are six ways you can spice up your dorm room to make it feel a lot more like home:


1. In a room with blank, white walls and clunky furniture, you may feel uninspired. Since your dorm room will likely be overpowered by your bed (no complaints here), you may want to begin your design aesthetic using your bedding as the focal point. I’d suggest combining comfort with your own personal style, going for a nice mattress pad, a twin XL duvet, and a patterned cover. Even though you can’t paint the dorm walls, you can definitely add a lot to a space using pattern on your bed.

2. Speaking of walls, your school likely has a rule about leaving marks or pinning things up. Fortunately, command hooks and strips will act as a full-proof way to help you hang art prints, tapestries, posters, and pictures. Tapestries add a homey vibe to your room, while also covering a lot of area. They’re a visual interest that you can’t really go wrong with, and they complement other wall decor nicely. Posters and pictures will allow you a chance to personalize your side of the room-- sites like Society6 and Amazon have endless options for band and movie posters, as well as metal, canvas, and framed art prints. You can even add something a little extra by displaying your wall decor in a fun pattern.

3. Some dorms may have hardwood flooring, but the three I’ve lived in (and the most I’ve seen), feature hideous carpeting. If you’re like me, you’ll want to add some visual interest and coziness on the floor too. Rather than splurge on a large rug, you may consider buying two or more different rugs. For example, I have a tribal themed rug beside my bed, and a fuzzy faux fur rug beside my door—one is colorful, while the other is a solid with a warm texture. You can make the room even more interesting by placing the rugs in differing directions.

4. While a fluffy rug can act as a place where you splay out to do your homework (my roommate did this all of sophomore year), it may turn into a seating hub for your guests. The best decision I made in decorating my room this year came in the form of a memory foam saucer chair. Everyone who visits me loves this chair, and it’s a total godsend when I’m worried that doing homework in my bed will lead to a nap I can’t afford, but my school-provided desk chair breaks my back. Trust me, you won’t regret buying a futon, a bean bag, or some other kind of comfortable chair.

5. Lighting can change the entire mood of a space. For example, when I flip on the fluorescent light in my dorm room, I’m reminded of being in a classroom and can’t quite relax. A funky lamp and some fairy lights, as well as open blinds during the day, really help me feel at home.

6. Whatever it is you love, display it in your room. My neighbor, a theater major, has been to countless Broadway plays; she hung up the playbooks she’d collected over the years on her wall and really added something special to her room. Not only do the playbills serve as visual interest, but they’re also a great conversation piece. Personally, I keep my makeup collection in an aesthetically pleasing array on my dresser because it makes me feel like I’m in a Sephora (nirvana) every morning. To each his/her own!